Plan Your Way to Hire a Drupal Site Developer

Updated: June 16, 2010

Below are some of the steps that you need to keep in mind before hiring a Drupal site developer:

1. Plan Your Drupal Project:

You need to be detailed and specific about your project before hiring anyone. Defining the scope of the project becomes really important. Even the tits-and-bits of information say, if your module is changed or a new functionality has been created, if your project demands a new theme, and many such questions, which may seem somewhat obvious but it is not important that the developer can read your mind.
It becomes important for you to understand that every different project requires a set of skill and that automatically generates the need to well define your project. Vague set of information can be really frustrating. Installation, configuration, or whether the design needs a theme.

When you plan the time and resources for your project, just don't forget to include time and developer hours for a security review. In case of third party themes and modules that you use, this can be done by the developers you've hired. But for in-house developed themes and modules, you ought to try to get a third party developer to do this.

2. Well-Defined Budget Of your Project:

Once you are clear with the structural plan of your project, figuring out the budget gets the priority. Just quote the price an then, you would automatically know what your programmer can do within that limit.
Once you done with the budget, break the project into tasks, e.g., installation, theme design, programming.

3. Match the Existing Skill level to the Required Task:

With a budget well placed, the next step is to match the desired skill level to the specific task. You need the right person for the right job. For example, if you require a new theme, you need someone with CSS knowledge and Drupal experience to create what you want. Take into consideration that experienced people can do most jobs in a shorter time, and implemented with higher quality, which will ultimately save your money.

Ensured sustainability of the project, to be able to research your needs, particularly the one who understands the particular needs of your industry as well as that of the users.

A designer with an expertise over PHP, in short a professional PHP developer, open to learning and coding to a well defined set of APIs, in case have a large project and more than a month deadline.

4. Advertise:

After you are done with your ‘Need Analysis,' and are confident to hire a Drupal developer over a PHP or CSS consultant, you can consider the list of resources given below. You might have filtered names of few Drupal developers for meeting your project need, but the list below ensemble such resources, which are worth your attention:

  1. List of skilful Drupal web developers who are available for hire for your any kind of Drupal need. Since, it is a list of some Drupal experts providing Drupal services it would be good enough if you do some research from your end, and get sure before hiring them.
  2. The Drupal Consulting List is another place where you can make a post for applicants.
  3. Drupal Forum: It is a forum where people post their requirement and could get Drupal experts for their project.
  4. A job listing page in Groups.drupal.org is a page where you can advertise any job, if you are a member of that group.

5. Sharing is Good, So Lets Contribute:

Since Drupal is an open source CMS platform, everyone tries to hack and customise it suiting to their need. But the radical of your contract should be to contribute it back to the community with improvements. This way you stimulate the probability of using the technology up to its full potential; the actual rational behind using an open source.

Your hacked version (changing codes for customisation) becomes vulnerable with time as you cannot update the security updates made by the community and the range of functionality that comes with the updates. This makes your module obsolete and asks for specialised and costly technical skills making you stuck with particular version and miss critical updates.

— Unavailability of the same developer, who initially worked on your project, makes any further upgrade difficult. Since you do not have documentation on changed codes, hence no one would understand what was done.

Contributing with the amended improvements may take time, than applying a quick fix solution to your project, but it certainly is cost efficient and save your time.

Tips below will help you to ensure that your improvements are contributed back to the community:

  • If you can get hold of any module maintainer, try to get hire them for the improvements or customisation you need.
  • If you are looking for some other service provider, for your contract, don't forget to ask them about their prior experience and contributing back.
  • Module maintainers are the volunteers, so make sure that you with your contractor provide them only the critical part of your work, with all information they want, along with ample time.
  • Keep your self clear about the ‘quick fix' and ‘contribute solution.' Use quick-fix solution for your web property, but work on contribute-solution to have it accepted and applied.
  • For each new feature, you add and issue you documentations, the proposed solution, follow-ups, which is as important as the suggested changes. It also becomes important to see if the current version runs smoothly after the modifications are done.
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